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          History of NTEP (Continued from Page Five)

Maryland. Mr. Murray felt it was important for USDA to coordinate efforts of national importance. Also, he felt the highest credibility for the data would come from USDA's intimate involvement. Therefore, USDA initially provided staff and facilities for seed division, mailing, storage, clerical help needed to produce and mail notices and reports, statistical and computer support for data analysis and reporting, etc. The initial response was overwhelmingly favorable. Researchers and extension educators found the tests invaluable in learning about commercially available varieties and new experimental selections. Seed companies and plant breeders could quickly learn where grasses performed best and under what management levels. Consumers liked the convenience of one source for unbiased variety information. Also, locating the plots mainly at state universities allowed them to be viewed by many people at field days. To see grasses growing side-by-side in field evaluations became very popular among the end-users in the turfgrass industry.

With the success of the 1980 National Kentucky Bluegrass Test, NTEP decided to coordinate a national perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) test in 1982. This test was the beginning of NTEP tests that required payment of an entry fee. The entry fee for the 1982 National Perennial Ryegrass Test was US$1200.00. The entry fees

helped NTEP to hire a full-time Technical Coordinator and is now the basis for NTEP operations.

From 1983-86, NTEP continued with new tests of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea), fineleaf fescue (Festuca spp.), bentgrass (Agrostis spp.), and bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon). In 1989, a st. augustinegrass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) test was initiated, with buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) and zoysiagrass (Zoysia spp.) tests organized in 1991.

(This article was originally published in Turfgrass Cultivars: Breeding and Utilization, by SoftScience, Inc. (Japanese only). Future articles will focus on NTEP organizational structure, test procedures, costs, evaluation methods and criteria, etc.)

Future NTEP Trials

Fall 1999
         Perennial Ryegrass
         On-Site Overseeding

Fall 2000
        Kentucky Bluegrass

Spring 2001
        St. Augustinegrass

Fall 2001
        Tall Fescue

Spring 2002


  • NTEP held a turfgrass evalua- tion workshop in October 1998. Future workshops will be conducted at various loca- tions. Watch Newsline for details.
  • Cooperators: We now accept data in Microsoft Excel or Quattro Pro spreadsheets. These can be sent to us as attachments to email messages. If these formats are easier for you, please feel free to use them in the future.
  • Additional copies of most NTEP reports are available - please contact our office for pricing. If significant quantities are desired, please contact us in advance so we can pre-order from our printer.
  • NTEP is open to the needs anddesires of its clientele. If you have any comments, criticisms or suggestions on how we can improve our services, please feel free to contact us at the address below. Thanks!

NTEP NEWSLINE is issued on a quarterly basis.  If you have concerns or suggestions, please contact:

Kevin Morris
Exec. Director
Natl. Turfgrass
Evaluation Program
Beltsville Ag. Res. Center_West
Building 002, Room 13
Beltsville, MD 20705

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